[ISN] Military wants way to attack satellites

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Sun Sep 21 2003 - 23:58:57 PDT

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk@private>
    David Pugliese   
    The Ottawa Citizen  
    September 21, 2003
    With space becoming increasingly important in military operations, the 
    Canadian Forces need the capability to conduct "non-lethal" attacks on 
    foreign satellites, according to a draft plan for the Defence 
    Department's future role in space.
    "For the Canadian Forces, a limited capability to interfere with an 
    adversary's use of a space system, while maintaining their own 
    capability to use space systems, will be required," according to the 
    strategy paper. Such a tactic would require Canada to develop the 
    ability to jam a nation's links to its satellites.
    "The Department of National Defence requires the capability for 
    localized, non-lethal negation of adversary space systems," adds the 
    draft version of Space Strategy 2020.
    The report notes that the only "lethal" method available to the 
    Canadian Forces would be to attack another country's satellite ground 
    stations. The most likely time that tactic would be used is in a 
    coalition operation, it adds.
    The strategy stays clear of the controversial area of anti-satellite 
    weapons such as those already tested by the United States and Russia. 
    In those cases, fighter jets have used specialized missiles to destroy 
    satellites. Some Pentagon officials have also proposed placing 
    anti-satellite weapons into space.
    The Canadian government has long had a policy of being against such 
    attempts to weaponize space. The recommendations in Space Strategy 
    2020 do not violate that policy, since there would be no attempt by 
    the Canadian military to put anti-satellite weapons into orbit.
    Defence Department officials say the space strategy is still being 
    worked on and has not yet been reviewed by senior officials. A final 
    strategy report is expected to be approved by the end of the year.
    Satellites have become part of the backbone of modern societies, being 
    vital for many telecommunications transmissions and economic 
    transactions. They are also playing an increasing role in military 
    missions, both in conducting surveillance and in communications.
    Defence analyst John Clearwater said Canada's allies, such as the 
    U.S., are extremely interested in developing new ways to attack other 
    nations' satellites or jam transmissions from those spacecraft. But he 
    notes that western nations, in particular the U.S., have the most to 
    lose from such a strategy since their economies are heavily reliant on 
    satellites. If they proceed with such a policy, then that would send a 
    signal that U.S. and Canadian satellites can be attacked in 
    "You can easily shoot yourself in the foot with that type of policy," 
    said Mr. Clearwater, a specialist in space and nuclear weapons. He 
    noted that even the process of jamming another country's satellite 
    links runs the risk of being seen as an act of war.
    The strategy document notes that while investment in space 
    capabilities is needed, the Canadian Forces "need not aspire to become 
    a space power."
    But as military dependence on space increases, the need for assured 
    access to rocket launches for satellites and other sensors will be 
    important, according to the strategy paper. Western nations usually 
    rely on the U.S. or on European countries for such launches.
    One method around that could be the development of micro-satellites, 
    some the size of a suitcase, which could be put into orbit by smaller 
    Canadian-built rockets. 
    Space Strategy 2020 also recommends better education and training in 
    space matters for military officers. In addition, it notes that 
    Canadian troops need access to a tactical missile warning system. 
    Such a system would alert them to launches of shorter-range 
    battlefield missiles such as Scuds.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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